Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Toward Dieppe

Toward Dieppe

(for Gwen John 1876-1939)

Where did you cook your meals
in that rented room with ochre walls,
a table beneath the window,
a few books, small easel and paints?

There is the umbrella
for Parisian rains
through which you dashed
clutching a baguette and two eggs
after a day standing naked,
before students who, charcoal in hand,
stared--form, volume, values.

And when you disrobed
for him--Rodin--
did lust flame the passion
of your vision,
float you solitary on a palette
of persistence and genius
through 63 years?

Toward the end
you owned a little house
in Meudon on rue Babie
where, among cats, you drew,
prayed, gardened and until
that lonely death in Dieppe,
kept notebooks:

faded dew-berries
white of waterplant
greens of primroses
nuts.  faded roses.

Susan Pope 3/2013

painting by Gwen John


Andrea said...

This transports me into the universe of someone, I didn"t know until yet! Now I know her, thank you so much, Suki, for those beautiful worlds, and the image is giving color to your words! Beautiful. Love from Paris, Andrea

Robin said...

Haunting....gorgeous....perfect! You captured her essence with your words!
Perhaps my new favourite!!!!!

Love to you, O Poetess!

♥ Robin ♥

p.s. The painting is also a perfect accompaniment!

Leslie Avon Miller said...

A beautiful tale of a lovely person, and her little house; a real home.
Thank you Suki.

Mystic Meandering said...

Wow, Suki, this is wonderful; the words are so descriptive of a life lived and gone that they unexpectedly grab me. Love the painting too -

Kim Andersen said...

I was almost there :)

beautiful poem and beautiful painting paired together

kj said...

Those closing descriptive lines, suki, faded, colorless except the green photosynthesis of life...

You write remarkable poems. This one to me has traces of Mary Oliver . You've set scene with all the details. Now I know Gwen too


Blue Sky Dreaming said...

On my screen this painting has such a beautiful aqua colored cast! The writing is beautiful. I get the feeling your day to day life is gifting you with more time for what you love and if that is true...Enjoy!!

Lynn Cohen said...

Suki, please write that this poem is by you at the top. (or the bottom)...
It is so discriptively beautiful.
Tells such a full bodied story.
I will read it again ... and again!

Kelly M said...

Oh, this is really beautiful, Suki. One of your best, I think.

Kelly M. said...

Your imagery and the beautiful painting by Gwen Jones -- both marvelous, evocative.

Annie said...

Suki, I agree with Kelly, this is one of your best poems. So beautiful, I will read it many times.
Also love the painting.

Lynne with an e said...

Your poem imparts so much information, colour, sense of place and character in so few, but perfectly chosen words.

PeaceGardenSu said...

very wonderful